Why Former Students Smile When They See Me

Now and then
I run into
a former student
working as a barista
or in the lobby of a theater
and they come running over
all smiles
to ask me
if I remember them
and I do
and we chat
about high school
or college
and I ask then
what they remember
from the 180 hours
we spent together
and they usually
repeat some joke I made
or mention an annoying classmate
which makes me wonder
what my life has amounted to
like am I nothing but a
well-paid lifeguard
who sits on his stool
as teenagers horse around
blowing a whistle
to prevent horseplay
and ensure that
the pool doesn’t get sued
and I try to tell them
about CPR and water safety
but despite my efforts
no one is learning much
though they laugh a lot
and leave happy
with knowledge trailing behind
like wet footprints that
disappear
before my shift even ends
and now years later
it all blurs together
as one long hot day
when they were carefree
never thinking about
the future
where they’d be the ones
in the red swim trunks
counting the hours
until sunset.

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About semiblind

Bringing you stark existentialism since 1981.
This entry was posted in history, observations, people, poetry and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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